The art of the vacation takes many forms in the 21st century—from rambling road trips to extreme outdoor adventures, and now, destination yoga retreats for those looking to use their time off to work on their health and wellbeing. Not only are vacationers seeking out the best day spas and spa resorts, but travelers are also looking to work on downward dogs and active mindfulness at a diverse array of yoga retreats across the country. Whether your idea of bliss is stretching just steps from a tropical jungle or practicing meditation on a rocky mountaintop, these yoga retreats offer opportunities to seriously get your om on.
Best yoga retreats in the U.S.
Widely regarded in the yoga world as the best-established destination in the country for immersive holistic-living trainings and getaways, Kripalu (57 Interlaken Rd, Stockbridge, MA) ranks as one of the best yoga retreats in North America—perhaps the entire world. Seekers of yogic serenity can choose from three primary ways to experience Kripalu: signing up for a yoga or wellness session, booking a customizable retreat, or enrolling in a training program. Since types of stays and programs at Kripalu—at its core a nonprofit educational organization with more than 800 programs a year—are highly varied and flexible, fees can range widely. All retreats are priced for all-inclusive stays on the spacious grounds, with minimalistic accommodations, healthy meals and daily classes, as well as use of sauna, fitness room, lakefront beach, hiking trails and more. Rates vary by program, and are all inclusive of accommodations, meals and use of facilities. Prices range from $334 to $792 for two all-inclusive R&R nights.
On 250 sprawling acres in New York’s breathtaking Hudson Valley, Omega (150 Lake Dr, Rhinebeck, NY) welcomes thousands of guests every year to the main campus of its nonprofit center devoted to well-being. Opt to take part in a rigorous or restorative yoga workshop with a top teacher or simply book a wellness vacation focused on rest and rejuvenation. Free-form retreats are available in New York in the spring through fall, with daily open classes in yoga, tai chi, movement and meditation, and plenty of time for contemplative strolls on nature trails in between kayaking, nutritious meals, spa treatments at the Omega Wellness Center and education at the Omega Center for Sustainable Living. $240-$672 for two all-inclusive R&R nights.
Situated on dramatic Big Sur cliffs about 45 miles south of Monterey, Esalen (55000 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA) has served as a west coast mecca for fans of yoga, meditation, organic food and spirituality since its founding in the early 1960s. The choice of Don Draper—Mad Men filmed its final episode on campus—Esalen has also hosted such real-life icons throughout the decades as Ansel Adams, Ray Bradbury, Joan Baez, Ravi Shankar, Bob Dylan and many, many more. Today, Esalen continues to draw guests to its stunning 120-acre campus with more than 500 workshops a year in addition to conferences, research initiatives and work-study programs all dedicated to personal and social transformation. All workshop pricing includes accommodations, meals, movement programming and complete use of facilities—including the clothing-optional geothermal springs overlooking the crashing waves of the Pacific. Rates vary by program, and are all inclusive of accommodations, meals and use of facilities.
Yoga in a tropical paradise sound like your speed? Then report to Maui’s North Shore and Lumeria (1813 Baldwin Ave, Makawao, HI), a luxurious educational adventure haven set on a carefully restored six-acre estate designed in 1910. The look of the historic 24-room property, housed in the oldest wooden structure on Maui, evokes its surroundings with natural woods, stone and Hawaii-inspired decor, and Lumeria’s classes and programs keep its guests out in nature, too. Lumeria’s activities will get the blood pumping with yoga, kayaking or surfing, and you can recover with a meditation session, a dip in the saltwater pool or a massage. Plus, both all-inclusive and accommodations-only options are available, making for a very flexible yoga retreat. $1795 to $3800 for a six-day, all-inclusive retreat, and $329-$419 per night for an a la carte stay.
Tucked right in the Rocky Mountains near Helena, Montana, Feathered Pipe Ranch (2409 Bear Creek Rd, Helena, MT) offers holistic workshops and yoga retreats guided by renowned teachers in a lush forest setting. Take respite from the harried pace of life—no reliable cell service here—and enroll in a retreat focused on yoga or another mindful modality. A variety of lodging choices, including tipis, tents and yurts, plus tons of outdoor activities, ensure a connection to the natural world, while the availability of suites with private bathrooms, massage, acupuncture and wellness consultations all but guarantee total bliss. Pricing generally ranges from $160-$300 per night for accommodations and all meals. Attending with a workshop is all inclusive of accommodations and meals, and can range from $1595 to $2350 for a seven-day program.
Photograph: Courtesy Zane Williams
Get your “om” with a healthy dose of “yeehaw” at Big Sky Yoga Retreats (multiple locations in Bozeman, MT), high up in Montana’s Madison Range, about an hour north of Yellowstone National Park. Best known for its all-women “Cowgirl Yoga”—a blend of yoga and horseback riding—Big Sky hosts around a dozen all-level retreat weeks each year, set in the Rocky Mountains. The idea of practicing ashtanga, restorative and vinyasa flow yoga under the endless Montana skies might be enough draw, but rolled in with the opportunity for nature hikes, starlit nights, mountain-themed cuisine and a superb wine list, and the pull of this mountain getaway becomes irresistible. $1,895-$2,195 per person four all-inclusive days.Photograph: Courtesy Larry Stanley
Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Colorado Rockies and the soaring Great Stupa of Dharmakaya, built in honor of the center’s founder, a Tibetan meditation master, the Shambhala Mountain Center (151 Shambhala Way, Red Feather Lakes, CO) supplies a haven for neophyte and experienced practitioners alike with a sizeable schedule of programs on yoga, meditation and more. Move one step closer to enlightenment with a stay that includes not only yoga, but also wilderness walks, guided meditations, poetry readings and three healthy meals a day. The sparse-yet-comfortable accommodations range from rustic lodge rooms with private baths to shared same-gender dormitories and well priced seasonal tents on wooded hillsides. $79 for a shared dorm room or tent to $263 for a junior suite, plus the cost of the program, which start around $100 for three days/two nights.
A longstanding mountain sanctuary overlooking Santa Barbara, the Pacific and the Channel Islands, the White Lotus Foundation Retreat Center (2500 San Marcos Pass Rd, Santa Barbara, CA) was founded by accomplished yoga master Ganga White and has served as a gathering place for devoted and aspiring yogis for decades. Around half a dozen retreats are regularly scheduled annually, and include daily yoga classes, hikes in the oak and manzanita forests, silent meditation in canyons, dips in sandstone swimming holes and gourmet vegetarian meals. Accommodations can be arranged for private indoor lodging, yurts or scenic campsites. $650 for a 3-day retreat; $825 for a 4-day training/retreat; both inclusive of accommodation in yurts, classes, meals and use of facilities.
Tune in to the unhurried rhythms of nature at Rolling Meadows (83 Sullivan Rd, Brooks, ME), a 100-acre meditation and yoga retreat center in the hills of coastal Maine. Throughout the year, guests can join small group meditation and yoga retreats housed in a restored 1840s New England farmhouse. All retreats top out at 11 participants and mingle daily yoga classes with meditation, free time and a practice of social silence—that is, communicating verbally only when necessary. With awe-inspiring hilltop views, walking trails, fields, gardens and a spring-fed swimming pond, it’s easy to slip into a quiet leisurely flow. $650 for 4-day retreat; $1,150 for 7-day retreat all meals, lodging, yoga and meditation sessions.
Those looking for a simple and serene setting in which to reflect, connect with nature or develop a yoga practice should consider the Yoga Lodge on Whidbey Island (3475 Christie Rd, Greenbank, WA), a combination of yoga retreat center, bed and breakfast, and drop-in yoga studio. The two-story lodge sits on 10 private acres of dense Pacific Northwest forest surrounded by community trails, abundant wildlife and plenty of quiet. Guests are invited to visit for a single yoga class, a weekend workshop or longer retreat. $450-$595 for a Friday-Sunday all-inclusive group retreat; $65-$110/night for solo retreats depending upon accommodation and breakfast preferences.
An intimate property in Vermont’s Green Mountains, Stowe Mountain Ranch (5504 Mountain Rd, Stowe, VT) provides the destination portion of the program for some of the best yoga retreats in the country. Teachers from the across the world employ the facilities to lead yoga workshops in vinyasa, ashtanga, acroyoga, kundalini, yoga and skiing and many more schools of practice. Each retreat is unique to its organizing host, but all include healthy meals, minimalist lodging and access to the grounds, which star a cedar sauna, outdoor hot tub and a 40-foot waterfall. $600-$825 three night all-inclusive.
On 120 acres of the Big Island in Hawaii, Kalani (12-6860 Kalapana-Kapoho Rd, Pāhoa, HI) sits nestled in between tropical jungle and the Pacific Ocean. One of the region’s largest yoga retreats, Kalani offers more than 50 classes a week in a dozen styles of yoga, plus rich offerings exploring Hawaiian culture, as well as a wellness center specializing in many styles of massage. On-site accommodations range from off-the-grid-style campsites to eco-cottages made from sustainably harvested wood. All guests can enjoy several pools, volleyball court and lounges. $95-$245 per night for accommodations, with yoga, meals additional; $810 (double occupancy) to $1,020 (single occupancy) and up for 7 days/6 all-inclusive nights.Photograph: Courtesy Matt Bulger
Leave the trappings of the modern world behind during a stay at Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat (53000 Breitenbush Rd, Detroit, OR), a holistic retreat center on 154 acres of wildlife refuge in the Willamette National Forest of the Oregon Cascades. Truly off-the-grid—the entire campus runs on locally generated geothermal power—Breitenbush operates as a worker-owned cooperative that hosts more than 150 events annually, ranging from all-levels yoga retreats to doula trainings to Thai massage workshops. Beyond the scheduled retreats, the remote destination offers a free monthly Inipi Ceremony (sweat lodge) and access to multiple clothing-optional hot springs of varying temperatures. $60 to $128 per night for accommodations and meals (guests must bring their own linens), plus cost of workshop, which can range from $150 to $375 for a three-day event to $1,000 or more for a weeklong event.